Chhindwara-Nagpur broad gauge conversion to be finished by Feb ’19

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 14 May 2018 09:41:38


By Sagar Mohod,

CRB Ashwani Lohani desires monitoring of capacity expansion projects at AGM-level to ensure timely commissioning

Travellers will have to wait till February 2019 for commissioning of the Chhindwara-Nagpur gauge conversion work. In the latest communiqué to South-East Central Railway Zone (SECR), the Railway Board has asked it to finish the work by February 2019. The Board has revised the earlier deadline of December 2018 following feedback from the SECR about geographical constraints coming in way of putting new tracks in hilly region of Satpuda mountains to finish the task.

Meanwhile, to speed up ongoing capacity expansion projects, Railway Board has desired monitoring at level of Additional General Manager (AGM) and asked Zones to stick to completing gauge conversion and doubling according to the revised deadlines.

In a communiqué to General Managers of 16 Zones and heads of RVNL, IRCON and RITES, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman Railway Board (CRB), also released the new deadlines for projects under their commands. Underlining the challenges in meeting the targets listed for 2018-19, he specifically asked them for avoiding issuing of contracts in last quarter of the financial year.

The Works Directorate of Railway Board has asked Zones to put in place a framework to achieve the required progress
and sort out difficulties in achieving results.
Lohani has outlined establishment of a system at Zonal Headquarters to finalise engineering scale plan (ESP), signal and interlocking plan (SIP), short welded rail (SWR) and other vital inputs that are needed to accelerate the ongoing works.

The CRB also called for meticulous planning as to preparatory works linking it with approval of plans, order of material, finalising executing agencies, creation of posts for maintenance of new assets, liasoning with CRS for inspection.

Chhindwara Line: Chhindwara-Nagpur Gauge conversion work has been divided into smaller components with each section given separate deadlines. The Board has set the target of opening of Kelod-Patansaongi (a 22 km stretch) and Patansaongi-Itwari (a 25 kms line) by August 2018. This would ensure at least starting passenger services from Nagpur till Saoner tehsil within the district.

Also, it has stated that Bhimalgondi-Kelod, a 45 kms line, be ready by September end this year. The work in last 20 kms section of this project, Bhandarkund-Bhimalgondi, be finished by February 2019, it stated.

Jabalpur Project: Another project of importance from the region’s point of view is direct train from Gondia to Jabalpur which will cut down North-South travel time by several hours. The only remaining section in this project is Lamta-Samnapur, a distance of 25 km, but the Board has set the target of completing the work by January 2019.

The other components of Gauge conversion work in SECR Nagpur Division are Chhindwara-Nainpura-Mandla Fort section of which Chiradongri-Mandla Fort (24 kims) are targeted to be met by December 18. The Nainpur-Palari, about 8.2 kms will be completed in January 2019. The 8.2 km line doubling of Godhni-Kalumna is expected to be wrapped-up by December 2018. This section is exclusively meant for transportation of coal coming from South Eastern Coalfields Limited (SECL) to Koradi Supercritical Thermal Power Plants. In all SECR Zone has been given target of completing doubling, gauge conversion project totalling 442.5 km within this financial year. In Central Railway’s Nagpur Division the important projects going on are of third and fourth line from Sewagram to Nagpur, third line from Wardha to Ballarshah, third line in ghat section from Teegaon to Chitonda.

The Chitonda-Sonegaon 13-km section on Wardha-Ballarshah route is targeted for opening by November 2018 while Butibori-Sindi section on Wardha-Nagpur route, a distance of 19 kms, in February 2019. These two sections would provide room for accommodating additional trains. Presently, both the sections are bogged down by capacity constraints leading to stalling of trains. The Teegaon-Chitonda third line, a distance of 17 kms, is slated for completion by February 2019. For Central Railway the target to complete works of new lines in 421.19 kms stretch by March 31, 2019.